Leggat Ancestry & History of Springpark Pub Part 2

Continued from Part 1

By 1881, widowed Arthur Leggat was 70 years old and by the time had moved from Bothwell back to his birth-town of Avondale where he would see out his days. His widowed sister, Isabella Stuthers aged 53, lived and worked with him as his housekeeper in Avondale at East Newton Cottage. The name Struthers is interesting but I have yet to make a connection to the Struthers that would eventually own the nearby Auchentibber Inn. With Arthur and his sister was a nephew, Matthew Leggat Jnr, 17, the son of Arthur’s brother Matthew (who had died in 1864). It is known that Springpark was still in the possession of Arthur Leggat at this time for Matthew Leggat Jnr would later own one of his Uncle’s four properties.

On 19th August 1887, 24 year old Matthew Leggat Jnr married 19 year old Isabella Fleming (1868 -1959) at Little Udston Farm. It is likely that this was the time that Matthew Leggat moved to his family’s home at Springpark. The dates coincides with the death of Arthur and given the young nephew had lived with him previously, it would appear Matthew Leggat Jnr inherited Springpark and indeed may have inherited all four of the properties, not just the one he lived in! A trained joiner, there would have been plenty work for him in the late 1880’s with Blantyre’s construction and population boom. With a pub already nearby at Auchentibber Inn, he would not have felt the need to resurrect Springpark as a public house. On subsequent maps, Springpark is shown split, as separate houses. I recall seeing reference to “Springpark Place” in Auchentibber, a name unknown to me before this date and perhaps a reference to the creation of separate names of the individual houses within Springpark.

In 1891, Matthew Leggat Jnr 27, was a joiner living at Springpark with his wife Isabella (nee Fleming), 23. With them was 2 year old son also Matthew and 2 month old Elizabeth Leggat. In the semi detached house, next door was 40 year old bricklayer William Boyd and his wife, Janet. In the third house within Springpark was William and Jane Marr and their 6 children. In the 4th house, John and Janet Edminson and their 4 children. The single building would have started to have felt very cramped indeed.

The 1895 Valuation roll shows the Leggat’s still living at Springpark, (although the valuation roll incorrectly says Springbank.) The name Leggat also has a spelling of Leggate. The Edminsons are still there, but the Boyd’s and Marr’s have been replaced with tenants Thomas McWalter and James Shanks, both miners. Of interest is that the building is owned by Mary Leggat or Baird of Begg’s Land , High Blantyre, the suspected inheritor and sister of Arthur Leggat.

1901 – Matthew Leggat died from a tumour on 22 December 1901 at 2.15pm at Springpark. Unusually, like his father, he had died in his mid 30s. He was only 37 but left behind a wife and several children. Tragically, it meant his funeral was on Christmas Day, his body buried in High Blantyre Cemetery. His funeral service card is in my possession as pictured inviting others to leave their festivities and attend the funeral.

At the turn of the century, Springpark continued as 4 separate homes, although later in the century, were sold as two desirable homes, both with an upstairs and downstairs which is still the situation today. Back in 1901, the Leggats, Shanks, Fowler and Boreland families were present. Sometime between 1901 and 1905, one of the homes was bought by the Nelsons. Mr. William Nelson, 23 and his wife Elizabeth (nee McDade). However, William’s life would be a short one when he was killed in action in WW1.

William Nelson was just 38 years old when he was shot on 30th October 1917. He held the rank of Lance Corporal within the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) “B” Coy. 10th Bn with service No: S/5430. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Weir Nelson, of Auchentibber and husband of Elizabeth McDade Nelson, of Springpark, Auchentibber. He is amongst the Commonwealth War Dead, Grave/Memorial Reference: C. 495 buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery and more commonly remembered just 50 yards from his home on the Auchentibber War memorial.

I made contact with Isabel Fleming of East Kilbride, a direct descendent of the Leggat’s in this article. Isabel told me, “Matthew Jnr was married to my grandmother, though I didn’t know about Springpark being a pub, that was kept quiet!!! I was born in the bottom left hand house with my grandmother upstairs and the other houses rented out, we left in the mid 1950’s to go to a new house in Blantyre along with my grandmother Isabella Leggat (nee Fleming) who later re-married as Murchie. (I found out this was on 15th June 1905 at the Manse, High Blantyre to Mr. Hugh Murchie. She was by then the nearby school cleaner). She had by then spent most of her lifetime since marriage in Springpark.  Jackson was my grandmother’s mother’s name, so there may have been a connection somewhere.” Isabel’s additional information filled in some gaps for this story, confirming that Matthew and Isabella were living in the upper left house, with the family retaining the lower house for their own family. By default, it meant the Nelson’s were in one of the two homes on the right hand side.

Isabel also told me that the Boyle family living in the other house on the right pre WW1, were also affected hugely by WW2, when their sons both died. Again, both noted on the Auchentibber War Memorial.

Children of Isabella Fleming and Matthew Leggat.

1. Matthew Leggat was born on 11 January 1889 at Springpark. He died aged 20 on 24 October 1909 at Springpark. Matthew had diabetes for 3 years and died after 12 hours in a diabetic coma, informant Hugh Murchie, step father.

2. Lizzie (Elizabeth) Leggat was born on 12 January 1891 at Springpark. She died on 26 April 1974 aged 83 at Cleland Hospital. She was recorded as being single.

3. Arthur Leggat was born on 28 march 1895 at Springpark. He married to Annie Lamont Davidson on 1 August 1934 and set up home at 14 Stonefield Cresent, near his brother in law and sister (The MacDonalds) at number 7. Arthur died aged 67 from Hodgkins Disease on 4 January 1963 at Strathclyde Hospital, Motherwell.

1916 Janet Hamilton Leggat b1898 d 1922

1916 Janet Hamilton Leggat b1898 d 1922

4. Pictured is Janet Hamilton Leggat who was born on 20 June 1898 at Auchintibber. She died aged 24 at Auchentibber of diabetes.

Springpark today is two well kept and beautiful semi detached homes in Auchentibber Road. I’ve also attached some references to this Leggat Ancestry, which I had to map out in order to complete the research of this article. The other photo is Matthew Legatt’s funeral service card from 1901.

Springpark Pub, Auchentibber, Blantyre. Short lived, but not forgotten.

On social media:

Julie Leggat Brilliant, I’ve never seen this picture before, I have the rent books for all 4 properties of springpark, it notes all the occupiers dates of residence and how much the rent was , it was also said that in the later part of the 20th century people deliberately rented these homes because they had no indoor toilets and were rehomed quickly due to a change in the law stating that a home must have indoor amenities x Craig Reid!!!

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  1. My grandmother, Isabella Leitch, nee Leggat, was born on 8th May 1900, the daughter of Matthew and Isabella Leggat. She married George Leitch and spent her life at Stewartfield Farm, Auchentibber. They had four children, Isabella (my mother), Jessie, John and Margaret. Margaret is the sole survivor and now stays in Strathaven

  2. Very interesting article.
    My 2 x Great Grandmother was Isabella Leggat who married James Struthers of East Kilbride in 1851 and went to live in Old Kilpatrick, Dumbartonshire. She died in 1902 at the home of her daughter Agnes and son in law John Brownlie Cross 35 Lamb Street Hamilton and was buried in Bent Cemetery.
    It might be of interest that I live in Hillhouse within a few hundred yards of the site of Little Udston Farm.

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